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Habiba Balarabe Suleiman A humanitarian with grace

Hi there!


ow are you settling to having a prosperous New Year? May this year be a glorious one for us all. Amen. This week we tell you about the the wondrous ways to promote physical health using technology, to trends ladies need to try out this year.


Sumptuous Abak Atama soup by HALIMA ABDULRAZAK


his week we’ll be going all local and traditional as we’ll be taking our taste buds to the South-South part of Nigeria. Atama soup is a delicious aromatic palm fruit soup prepared with a green vegetable called atama. It is another form of banga soup, only that this one is prepared using a different vegetable (atama). You can either make use of the dried atama or the fresh leaves. Ingredients 1 medium bunch of fresh/ dried atama leaves 3 cups of palm fruits Beef or goat meat, 1/2 kg 2 cups of shelled periwinkles Shredded waterleaf Snails or crabs, any amount 1 piece of Kpomo (cowhide) 1 head or any part of stockfish 1 big smoked fish 1/2 piece of

uyayakaidan fruit or any local spice of your choice 3 tablespoons of crayfish (ground) Fresh or dried ground pepper 4 seasoning cubes Salt to taste Procedure Boil your meat and periwinkle and set aside. Steam your waterleaf for five minutes and soak the atama leaves in warm water to get rid of the bitter taste. Place the palm fruits extract on heat and allow to boil. Add your meat, periwinkle, diced eden fruits, diced onion, crayfish, dry fish, fresh fish, seasoning cubes and a pinch of salt. Stir properly and allow to cook for 15 minutes. Add the shredded waterleaf, stir and allow to simmer for five minutes. Then add the atam leaves and atama kee stirring. Allow keep the soup to cook for ano another five minutes, the reduce the heat. then Tak the soup off Take th fire and your the at atamaabak soup is re ready. Serve with p pounded yam, se semovita or wheat. E Enjoy!

On the cover this week we have the graceful Habiba Balarabe Suleiman, a humanitarian with a cause that helps feed the less privileged in our society. In her interview, she discusses how her initiative began, the struggles she encounters and also, a more personal side of her. Read all she had to say inside. Happy New Year. – Amina Alhassan


Making the best of climbing plants by HAFSAH ABUBAKAR MATAZU

Juicy watermelon and cucumber mix


ucumber water is a refresher and helps to rejuvenate the body making you look young and active, cucumber and water melon juice is a good combination to start the New Year with. Ingredients 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks 4 cups seedless watermelon cubes 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves 3 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon lime juice Pinch of salt 2 cups ice cubes Procedure Combine first 6 ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine wiremesh sieve placed over a bowl, pressing solids with a wooden spoon to extract liquid. Discard solids. Combine ice cubes and watermelon mixture in a blender, and process until smooth and slushy. Serve immediately.

With additional information from the internet


ave you wondered how you can revamp your outdoor space this year? Well, climbing plants can do the magic. Your outdoor space is almost as important as your indoor. Therefore, beautifying it by all means necessary is a must. There are many ways to achieve this: from fountains and ponds to gazebos and lights. Another great and fresh way to make the best of your outdoor space is with climbing plants. Using climbing plants is such a great way to enhance the look of your home. The sight of them growing up walls and other structures can be quite breathtaking. Plants like ivy and clematis tend to do the trick perfectly well. Adding them around window frames, doorways, fences and garages also look great. It can instantly make a dull piece of work to the eye seem like a living masterpiece. Either way, climbing plants have the effect to soften the elements of your home and make the surroundings look more alive. So why not give it a try and introduce climbing plants to your home today.



// CO V E R

A humanitarian with grace Interview by HAFSAH ABUBAKAR MATAZU & HALIMA ABDULRAZAK


abiba Balarabe Suleiman hails from Keffi in Nassarawa State. The humanitarian was born into the family of Balarabe and Aisha Balarabe Suleiman as the first child out of seven siblings. She is the CEO of Beemans Global Services.

Cover photos: ABDUL MUSA

My educational background I was born in Jos. I started school there at Nagode Primary School. We then relocated to Abuja and where I attended New Capital Primary School and then Wuse 1 Primary School before I proceeded to the Federal Government Girls College (FGGC) Bwari, in Abuja. After that, I went to the University of Abuja for a BSc in Sociology. I later obtained an MSc in Political Economy at the Nasarawa State University in 2012. My career background I was posted to Kaduna for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), but I got redeployed to Abuja where I served at Trust Fund Pensions Administration. I passed out on a Wednesday and got a job on a Friday of the same week: it’s something I can never forget. My first employment was with Amana Capital Pension Fund Administrator. I headed their customer care service department. I worked with them for about three years and then went on self-development. That was when I tried to build up on my passion for events management. I did a little bit of art and delved a little bit into the makeup industry. I was a makeup artist for a short while. That was also when I started writing a lot. I have been writing since the age of 14. I wrote poems and short stories. I do fiction as well. After that, I worked with Essential Travel and Tours and was their general manager for about two to three years. I left them and have been pursuing my personal endeavours ever since. I started B Man’s Global Services. We deal with events management, catering, souvenir packaging and so on. I have always had a passion for cooking. I just never get tired. On my humanitarian work I always want to feed everyone. There was a point I went back to Keffi to see my parents and that was when I really realised how hungry people were. Out there, you see people walking about and doing their own things and you actually see a concentration of people just sitting and waiting and hoping to be fed. That was when I took note of the situation, and it

was really heart wrenching. I couldn’t imagine that there were actually families sitting and waiting for something to eat. That was when it dawned on me that it was something I needed to do to liberate my conscience, and since then, it’s what I have been doing. Years in which the initiative has been in existence It started about nine years ago: it was during Ramadan and it was around 10pm. I was lying down because I had eaten too much and I was waiting for the food to digest so that I could actually get up and pray. Then I heard a cry outside. It was a young boy crying, saying, “Please, I have not eaten since I broke my fast today.” I felt like I had cheated that kind of person because I had eaten food meant for two. So I called him in, fed him, told him to come back every day to collect food. I then mentioned it to my friend, Maryam, and she was like we could put something together and make allowances for people like that. So that’s how it all started. For that year, we fed about 20 people every day by five of us pulling our resources together till the end of Ramadan. The following Ramadan, we decided to make it more organised. So I went out asking friends who were interested to donate to the cause. The response was very positive. We fed more than a hundred. That’s when I realised that there’s so much blessing in food. Food for one person can feed two or three. We ended feeding much more than we had anticipated and it kept growing. Thank God for the social media because it helped get the message out there and it was so overwhelming having people who do not know you sending in money. Challenges I faced trying to organise this It’s the funding. When you’re catering for such a large number of people, you need to really plan and all of our plans depend on the donations we get. There was a time, about two years ago, when Ramadan was approaching and we only had N45, 000 in the account. I was already thinking it was something we couldn’t carry out. However, two days to Ramadan, one alert after the other kept


coming in, so we were always going to the market as the money came in. Sometimes the donations were high, other times they were low, but all in all, in the past seven years, we somehow pulled through. Last year, the challenge was the crowd. We had a minimum of 350 people daily. There were children that were hungry and did not understand that there’s enough to go round for everybody. At a point we had to involve local security to put the crowd together. Then there are critics. Not that it bothers me, it rather gives me time to reflect on the essence of why I am doing it and how to improve. Every day I post pictures on Facebook and Instagram because I want people to see what we are doing with their money on a daily basis. If we tell you we’re feeding 350 people today, I want you to see the 350 people we are feeding. Some people thought I was showing off. Others were asking me why was not giving them meat, “Why are you giving them rice all the time?” At first I wasn’t finding it easy to adjust to that situation, thinking that I’m going all the way to do this, but at the end, it didn’t really matter because I wasn’t doing it for them in the first place. Where I see the initiative in five years We have decided to make it an all-round year thing. We want to do it for some days on a quarterly basis, but then everything will still boil down to funds. So the more funds we have, the more we can enlarge the activities, the number of people we cater for and the number of communities we touch. To eventually have soup/food kitchens in every state in Nigeria where food will be served to needy orphans and needy children and adults too. I am hoping we will begin to move our feeding program out of Keffi to other parts of Nasarawa State in the first half of this year... And to surrounding states by the end of the year. Hopefully, in the long run, we will be operating national wide. My future aspirations I want to delve into politics. I feel that will give me the opportunity and the forum for my people and Nigeria as a whole to represent them well. I aspire to be an inspiration to my generation. I want people to be able to achieve greatness because they have me as a role model. What growing up was like for me It was a very loving experience. I come from a nuclear family which was closely knit and comfortable. My mother was a teacher and the commander-in-chief of the home front. She made sure everything was in check. I went to school and there was a teacher and I come back home to a teacher too. She was quite tough on us, but when I look back and see the things we have achieved as her children, I am proud of the way she brought us up. My dad has always been saddled with the responsibility of a wider family populace, the community. He is very patient and diplomatic so he



HABIBA BALARABE SULEIMAN // CO V E R has a way of calming every situation in the family. So it was quite nice. I am the eldest child so I had to grow pretty fast. My mum kept telling me I had to be a good example. She was always on my heels to set good records. Challenges I have faced in life Understanding people, in the sense that I always have high expectations because I was exposed to a lot at a very young age. Books that I was told I shouldn’t read, I read them. Movies they said I should not watch, I watched them. I found out I was a step further than expected, so I always had to make friends with people that were wiser. So understanding people has affected my relationship with people. Fond childhood memories I cherish I was a little bit of a tomboy. From primary school I would wear my shorts and take my bicycle from Zone 7 to Zone 6 to Zone 3. I was always on my bike and it was a hard thing for my mum. My friends were playing with dolls but I always liked my bicycle. I was also an indoor person. If I wasn’t outside on my bike, then I was inside reading and writing. People just didn’t understand what I was always writing. We also had this guava tree and it was big with nice and succulent fruits. Many people came around for it, so we used to climb the tree and my mum would come and chase us away. Have you published any of your writings? Not yet: only on online journals. However, I’m putting something together and I’m hoping that in the next few months I will have my first book published. Life lessons To be more accepting. I remember strongly, after my sister passed away, she used to be a very openhearted person. She always saw things from the other perspective and was always willing to give people second chances, always going to sympathise with people. So when she passed away and people came for condolence, they kept saying that she was the kindest of us all. Some of the things she did for people until they mentioned it after her death. I realised then that the world on its own is just vanity and it’s what people say after you’re gone that determines the person you really are. I had to make many changes and she became a role model to me after that. My aspirations growing up First, I wanted to be a pilot, then I wanted to be a lawyer, then the president. There was a time I only wanted to be mother and a full-time housewife. Now, I just want to be the best of what I already am. What my typical day is like wo weeks I I’m an indoor person. In the last two have only gone out twice or thrice. My typical day flecting, is just me waking up, praying and refl ecting, a lot of reading, writing and cooking. I justt enjoy doing everything indoors. My most cherished gift Life from my parents. Top five things on my wish list bess list be list After topping Dangote on the Forbes (LOL), I want to get published. I wantt people to experience my thoughts. I also want to build me to on my passion: my feeding programme o metamorphose into an orphanage. No child should be a victim of hunger or war. No child should feel rejected. I want to have a family. It will make mee and my mother really happy. I also want the people around me to grow. Favourite music on replay Fia by Davido: because it’s my niece’s favourite song too. First app I check in the morning/bedtime WhatsApp, because I have clients I attend to. Favourite fashion items Perfumes and shoes. aring. What I wouldn’t be caught wearing.

Shorts. Favourite travel destination I love Dubai because I like eastern culture. It’s also very open and diverse. How I relax With good movies, good books, with NEPA and AC. Favourite food Everything beans: akara, moimoi, beans porridge, anything. Defintion of style Simple and classy. Favourite fashion designer I am not a label freak... Anything that suits and is comfortable is good to go. But if I have to choose for bags, then its LV. My favourite perfume, designer shoes and bag The One by Dolce and Gabbana. For shoes, I love Vincci because they are very comfortable and affordable. I’m not particular about bags, so anything handy. Mum’s advice that stuck with me over the years “When you have to do it, make sure you’re doing it the best way that you can.” Favourite sport, colour and weather I enjoy skipping: I can skip 1500 at a time. I love black and I love the rainy season. Favourite day of the week Friday, because it’s usually bright, there’s somewhere to go and someone to see. Beauty routine I just exfoliate, scrub, cleanse and moisturise. Role models The prohect Muhammad (SAW). My mother, Hajiya Aishatu B. Suleiman for her hard work, strength and resilience. My father, Alhaji Balarabe Suleiman, Yeriman Keffi for his patience, peace making ability, open heart and gentlemanness My late sister Fatima. She taught me kindness and forgiveness. She was an embodiment of love. She was a joy giver who strongly believed giving. I saw life in a different perspective after she died in 2013. May her aouk rest in peace. Looking back, what I would tell a younger me Do not fear. I realised I have a lot of things I would have done but I was having the fear to launch and the fear to feel and that held me back a lot. There are a lot of things I could have done then didn t do. I would have told myself to go after but didn’t those things regardless.


Wizkid, Jidenna to perform at Coachella 2018 The biggest music festival of the year Coachella has announced the lineup for this year’s festivities. The show will take place for two weekends between April 13th to 22nd this year and the acts included are Nigerians artistes Wizkid and Jidenna. Other artistes included are South African veteran Black Coffee and American artists, SZA, Tylor the Creator, Vince staples, Cardi B, Migos, French Montana, 6lack, Odesza, Miguel among others. The Coachella festival is one of the world’s most anticipated and biggest music events that happens yearly in California.

John Boyega searching for Nigerian bae Nigerian actor John Boyega, more popularly known for his role as Finn in the Star Wars franchise, has been in Nigeria for some weeks now spending the Christmas and New Year Holiday in his homeland. The actor expressed his sadness on Twitter because his holiday is coming to an end and he is yet to find a Nigerian wife. Taking to his Twitter handle, he wrote, “Holiday coming to an end and no wife, I really don’t get.” It looks like the eligible bachelor is ready to commit to a family life.

Oz Ozzybee bags prestigious aw award in Dar Es Salam O OzzyBee, the UNESCO Child advocate awardee has bagged the honour of the Minor Award in Ente Entertainment and Child Advocacy at the 3rd edition th Pan African Humanitarian Summit/Award held of the D Es Salam, Tanzania. in Dar The wonder kid was the only child VIP and panelist th event during which he presented a special paper at the “ e Challenges of Humanitarian Actions in on “Th Afric ” Africa. Those who were present at the event were former first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan and His Excellency Ali Mohamed Shein, President of Zanzibar, ably repre represented by Hon Rashid Ali Juma (Minister of Spor amongst others. Sports)








he year 2017 is over and everyone is yet to settle for the New Year after being busy making arrangements and merriment. It is very important not to neglect our beauty routine no matter how busy we tend to be. We are all guilty of wanting to look more beautiful than ever before: it is normal to want to make major face and body overhaul as we enter 2018. It will be hard to diet and hit the gym weekly, therefore, it is important to choose beauty resolutions that are realistic can stick to them religiously. Shave your body regularly if you have a sensitive skin: Shaving off unwanted hair helps to achieve a better skin. It should be done on a regular basis. Waxing and threading leave your skin irritated and red, especially if it’s sensitive. To get rid of facial hair, try dry shaving in the direction of the hair growth to avoid cutting your skin. Always moisturise afterwards as this essentially counts as exfoliation. Watch what you eat: It is very important to watch what we eat to make our skin to glow. Over-consumption of dairy products, sugar and processed food can make the sebaceous glands in the skin release more oil which blocks the pores. Bacteria are formed due to clogged pores that result in

Beauty trends to try in 2018

acne and other skin problems. Stay hydrated: Avoid the habit of not drinking enough water. The weather is dry and dusty and requires you to consume lots of water to keep you fit. Avoid consuming sugary drinks which can be harmful to our health. Start the New Year with the good habit of drinking more water. Visit the dermatologist: If you have a skin condition such as rosacea, acne, eczema, weird moles or growths, or anything else that isn’t going away or is worsening, then it is imperative that you seek

attention medical attention. Often, certain skin issues can be resolved swiftly with a proper diagnosis, while many conditions simply cannot be rectified with over-the-counter s solutions. Sometimes a prescription is in o order. Stop putting off y your dermatologist’s a appointment. Wash your face at n night: No matter how b busy your schedule is, tr to spare some time in try washing off the makeup on your face. Facial wipes are for travel or for emergencies or when you are camping. Resolve to wash your face properly at night: it will make you feel better. Choose an appropriate cleanser for your skin type. Not taking off your makeup at night can lead to dull and ageing skin that is covered with layers of dead and filthy skin. Take a few minutes at night to allow yourself the luxury of a properly cleansed face.

With additional information from the internet



Using technology to promote physical health by HAFSAH ABUBAKAR MATAZU


echnology is a universal tool. Perhaps one of the most important roles technology has played in recent times is encouraging and promoting physical health. From smartphone apps to fit bits to heart rate monitors and so on, the means to achieve great fitness has become so much easier with technology. Dr. John Ankama of Nasara Specialist Hospital, Kaduna shares some tech gadgets and tools that can help you achieve a healthier lifestyle with ease. Heart rate monitor: This is great for monitoring your heart rate during workouts to tell you how your body is doing. Using it

can go a long way in strengthening your heart and improving your cardiovascular health too. Fit bits: This is arguably one of the most common fitness tech out there today. With one around your wrist, wearing it at all times can measure how many calories you burn, your sleeping pattern, temperature and your movement in a day. A fit bit can be a great


motivator when you keep tabs of how your vitals are doing in the course of your daily activities so that you know where to pick up the slack from. Eatin apps: With free Eating eatin eating apps accessible on you smartphone at your th click of a button the y can control and you re regulate what you eat, p your meals, know plan ho many calories are how goi into your body and going educ educate yourself on how to eat he healthy and what diet orks best fo works for you. In turn, you can improve your eating habit for a healthier lifestyle. Social networking: Another great benefit that comes with technology is the ability to connect with people far and wide. Creating groups with people that have similar goals with you will further motivate you to go further in your quest for a better living. With additional information from the internet

Dr. Nathaniel Adewole, MOBILE: 0803 8039182 EMAIL:

HBP at 26 weeks of pregnancy

I am 26 weeks pregnant with a high blood pressure (BP) of 190/120. Doctors want to remove the baby. Should I allow them? -Chinwe, Lokoja What is your urinalysis like, was the BP noticed to be high before the second half of the pregnancy, does the hospital have good neonatal services with facilities like incubators and neonatologist? A BP of 190/120 is a severe Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (SPH), or if there is proteinuria, then it becomes preeclampsia. Also, if the BP predates the pregnancy or is noticed within the first 20 weeks, then it is chronic hypertension. Twenty six weeks is close to our own age of viability and some babies have been known to survive even in our own environment after being delivered at that gestation age. So let me state categorically that whatever will be done should be where there is the expertise of a neonatologist and neorealism services to give the baby a chance of survival. The best person to assess is an obstetrician. I suggest you abide by his advice, but if not, transfer to a tertiary centre or where expertise is available. Even at that, BP conservative management can still be done to give the baby a better chance of survival. Use of appropriate anti-hypertensives will help. If the BP is uncontrollable or is developing into severe preeclampsia, then delivery is advisable.

Genital swelling

I had a swelling on my left labia and was operated on two years ago. Now the swelling has come back. What do I do? – Amina, Abuja Most likely, what you have is recurrent bartholin cyst or abscess. The ideal operation is not incision and drainage but marsupialisation. The recurrent rate is high if a proper technique was not used, even with proper technique, it can still recur. I advise you to see your family physician, preferably a gynaecologist should do the marsupialisation if necessary.

Low sperm count

My husband has low sperm count. We have taken several antibiotics and other medications yet the count is still low. Please, what is the way forward? – Abike One of the unfortunate things is the use of antibiotics and supplements for years in managing male infertility even when there is no response. The option available is intrauterine insemination (IUI) if the sperm count is not too low. It can be concentrated for artificial insemination. If you are financially able, you can go directly for invitro fertilisation (IVF). Where the sperm is so minimal, IVF/ICSI may be required. In case of unavailability of money for high tech methods and where the sperm count is too low or absent; artificial insemination with donor sperm can be used.

Delayed menses with pregnancy symptoms

Why is it that my menses will delay and if I do pregnancy test it will be negative but I will have all the symptoms of pregnancy? –Saratu, Kano I think you are just having oligomenorrhoea due to hormonal imbalance. The symptoms of pregnancy being felt in this type of circumstance is usually psychological. Anxiety will worsen oligomenorrhoea. You and your husband should see a gynaecologist.